The North Face Endurance Challenge 10k trail race is coming up in just over a month, so I've changed up some of my workouts. I'm trying to focus a little more on speed work. To accomplish that, I'm doing one interval day a week, some incline treadmill repeats, a little bit of tempo, and making the long slow run more of a fartlek style.
Ran the Neusiok Trail again today, for a total of 10 miles, and it felt great. This is definitely the strongest I've felt on a long(er) run in quite awhile. I didn't focus as much on keeping a steady pace this time, instead, I just ran how I felt. If I felt like running faster, I did. If I needed to recover, I slowed the pace down. That worked out perfectly. While I understand there is a certain benefit to pacing on longer runs, lately, I've been less worried about pace and more about feel. After all, even in a race, if I just run as hard as I can when I can, and recover when I need too, is that such a bad method? I guess I'll find out eventually.
In other news, the maltodextrin/gatorade mix drink I've been using as a fuel for the long runs still seems to be working great. Ran all day today without using any gels, just the drink mix, and never felt a lack of energy. I think I'll experiment some more with maybe making something more gel like out of it, if for no other reason than to have something more concentrated.
And, lastly, I finally finished Once a Runner by John L. Parker, Jr. this weekend. Excellent book. I highly recommend it to anyone, whether they are a runner or not. It's really just a great story, but it would help if you have some knowledge of running so that you can understand some of the lingo. I downloaded the sequel today, Again to Carthage, and I hope it's just as good. Pretty excited to get my pre-ordered copy of Eat and Run by Scott Jurek when it comes out, too. I think for anyone who's an athlete or aspiring ultra-runner, he's definitely someone to strive to be like.
I also ordered my Cascadia 7s, and they should be in this week. Looking forward to bombing around some trails in those. I don't believe I'll be using those as a 10k race shoe, but I know they will for sure get some mileage. Oh, and I almost forgot, my DVD copy of Unbreakable: The Western States 100 is in the mail, and I'll post a review as soon as I watch it. I'll also post my thoughts on the Cascadia's after I get some miles in them.